Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hash House A Go-Go

Hash House A Go-Go, San Diego
Farmer's breakfasts from the midwest (Indiana, specifically)--good food and lots of it

It was the name that attracted us to the Hash House A Go-Go, for (we hope) obvious reasons. Not just a Hash House--a Hash House A GO-GO. We love that. But you know, despite the name, it could still be just a Waffle House in hot pants. Looking at the menu actually drove us to visit.

The first thing we noticed, walking in, was how enormous the plates of food are. They were serving platters, for cryin' out loud, full of eggs and hash and fruit and biscuits and all kinds of other good stuff. We saw two immense people devouring two Brobdingnagian plates of waffles and pancakes. Intimidated, we decided to split a plate of hash--you can't go to the Hash House A Go-Go and not get the hash. They had a special hash with wild boar and roasted red pepper, plus the usual cheese, potatoes, mushrooms, and two eggs any style. Plus a biscuit approximately the size of my head. In addition to that, Mark ordered a pancake--"it's just one pancake?" he asked the waiter, who affirmed that yes, indeed, it was.

The place looks like a midwestern diner with a bar on one side. There are pictures of tractors and farms all around, and a strange whiplike rope artistically arranged over an archway in the center of the dining room (one can only imagine the owner saying "we have to put something there). The people, too, seem very midwestern--San Diego may be home to the most sexy people in the country, but those people generally don't eat at the Hash House A Go-Go.

Our one pancake arrived first. It was, we kid you not, the size of a car tire. We've had pizzas that were smaller than this pancake. In its center it was nearly an inch thick, and its diameter was clearly over a foot. It was four pancakes that had banded together to form one Super Pancake. It was a pan-sheet-cake. With it, amusingly, they gave us a tiny little jug of syrup. We had to ask for seconds.

The hash, when it came, was restrained by comparison. A big mound of boar, peppers, potatoes, eggs, cheese, and mushrooms, it was all very tasty. Mark didn't like the boar--somewhat gamey, he said--but Tim liked it all. The potatoes were big, nice and crispy, the cheese wasn't overwhelming, the peppers were well done, and the eggs a nice complement. We enjoyed the biscuit, too, though it was more cakey than flaky.

Not a place to go if you're watching your weight, but what breakfast place is? We regard this as the Buca di Beppo of breakfast places, a midwestern diner in the land of the skinny. Go with a group and share around. We do need to drag some people back there.

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